The extent of Baltimore’s struggle at the plate on Saturday, however, was historic.
The Orioles wasted 10 walks and stranded 12 runners in an 8-2 loss to Tampa Bay. It was only the second time in franchise history that Baltimore received that many walks and scored two or fewer runs in a nine-inning game (also against Chicago on July 14, 1974).
“We’re putting too much pressure on our pitching staff,” said Derrek Lee, who went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts. “It’s just too hard when we’re scoring one and two runs every day. We are fighting hard, maybe too hard. We probably need to try to do a little less, maybe play some small-ball a little bit or something like that.”
Guthrie (1-5) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in five innings. In his first five starts, the right-hander yielded nine earned runs and three homers. In his last two outings, he’s surrendered 11 runs and four home runs.
“I actually felt as sharp as I’ve felt all season,” Guthrie said. “Unfortunately, I kind of wasted it giving up big home runs with two outs.”
Evan Longoria drove in four runs with a first-inning double and a three-run homer in the third. Both hits came with two outs.
B.J. Upton made it 7-0 with a three-run homer with two outs in the fifth. Upton was in the lineup after appealing a two-game suspension handed down Saturday by Major League Baseball for his tirade after being ejected from a game Wednesday in Toronto.
Nick Markakis had three of the Orioles‘ five hits and drove in both runs, with an infield hit in the seventh and a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Ben Zobrist tied a career high with four hits and scored three runs to help provide Tampa Bay rookie Jeremy Hellickson (3-2) with his usual dose of offensive support. Coming in, the Rays were averaging 9.19 runs per nine innings when the right-hander pitched.
Hellickson gave up three hits and five walks over five scoreless innings.
“I’m really glad we got the win, but I need to not walk as many people,” he said.
The Rays’ seven successive road wins ties the record set by the 2004 team. Tampa Bay had an eight-game run that began in September 2009 and ended in April 2010.
“For years, the Trop was really our haven,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “All of a sudden it’s kind of reversed roles a little bit.”